Boston Celtics

Apr 10, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari (8) reacts after scoring a basket during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Celtics may have avoided the obvious worst case scenario with free-agent addition Danilo Gallinari’s knee injury. But it will still hit the 34-year-old forward with a delay to his 2022-23 campaign, according to the latest report out of Italy.

    Per Sportando, Gallinari is dealing with a torn meniscus in his left knee, and will miss all of the Celtics’ upcoming training camp as part of a two month-long recovery.

  • That projected recovery timeline for Gallinari, who missed the entire 2013-14 season due to a torn ACL in that same knee, will also bleed into the regular season, with Gallinari expected to be fully recovered in November.

    That, on a best case scenario recovery timeline, would mean that Gallinari would miss a six-game opening month of October for the 2022-23 Celtics.

    The Celtics could also be ultra-cautious when it comes to Gallinari returning in November, too, as they open up November with four games in seven days, and have two sets of back-to-backs in the opening 12 days of the month.

  • FOSHAN, CHINA - AUGUST 31: #8 Danilo Gallinari of the Italy National Team reacts against the Philippines National Team during the 1st round of 2019 FIBA World Cup at GBA International Sports and Cultural Center on August 31, 2019 in Foshan, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

    FOSHAN, CHINA – AUGUST 31: #8 Danilo Gallinari of the Italy National Team reacts against the Philippines National Team during the 1st round of 2019 FIBA World Cup at GBA International Sports and Cultural Center on August 31, 2019 in Foshan, China. (Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

  • Signed to a two-year, $13.3 million contract this summer, the 6-foot-10 Gallinari is coming to the Celtics after a 2021-22 campaign that included 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, along with a 43.4 field goal percentage (38.1 percentage from deep), in 66 games for the Hawks.

    Not exactly considered a defensive stopper (something that’s unlikely to improve when another knee injury that’ll impact mobility), the Celtics have earmarked Gallinari for minutes as a second-team shooting threat from the No. 3 or No. 4.

    A 14-year NBA veteran, Gallinari’s 10.4 points per game off the bench in 2021-22 ranked as the 18th-most per game among players with at least 40 appearances off the bench, while his 23.5 minutes per game off the bench were the 16th-most among that same group.

  • But Gallinari’s loss — at least for a little while, anyway — will be someone else’s gain, as the Celtics will have some considerable minutes to fill on a nightly basis until his return.

    One player who could provide to be a legitimate challenger for ’em: Sam Hauser.

    Jul 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boston Celtics forward Sam Hauser (30) dribbles ahead of Miami Heat guard Jamaree Bouyea (52) during an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Celtics forward Sam Hauser (30) dribbles ahead of Heat guard Jamaree Bouyea (52) during an NBA Summer League game at Cox Pavilion. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports)

    Signed to a two-way contract out of college following the 2021 NBA Draft, the 6-foot-8 Hauser turned his limited Celtic run of 157 minutes and change of NBA play into a standard NBA contract in February and then a multi-year, $6 million contract earlier this summer.

    The NBA sample has been a promising one, too, with Hauser knocking down 23 of his 50 shots at the NBA level (including a 19-for-44 mark from three-point range) during his time with Boston. If that can translate properly as the minutes increase, that’s some welcomed secondary scoring.

  • Dec 1, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Denzel Valentine (45) reacts against the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 1, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Denzel Valentine (45) reacts against the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter at FTX Arena. (Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports)

    But the Celtics have made sure that the competition will be across the board in this year’s training camp, as the team will have four former first-round picks in camp in search of an NBA roster spot.

    That group includes 2016 first-round pick (No. 14 overall) Denzel Valentine, 2014 first-round picks Noah Vonleh (No. 9 overall) and Bruno Caboclo (No. 30 overall), as well as 2019 first-round pick Mfiondu Kabengele (No. 27 overall).